Entertainment And News

Aiden Fucci's Mother Arrested For Scrubbing Her Son's Blood-Soaked Jeans After Tristyn Bailey's Murder

Crystal Smith, Tristyn Bailey and Aiden Fucci

Crystal Smith, 35, mother of Aiden Fucci, was arrested Saturday morning for tampering with evidence after scrubbing her son's blood-soaked jeans.

Her 14-year-old son is currently in jail, having been charged as an adult with first-degree premeditated murder for the death of 13-year-old Tristyn Bailey.

Bailey was stabbed 114 times on the morning of May 9.

Why was Aiden Fucci's mother, Crystal Smith arrested?

Investigators said surveillance video obtained from Smith's residence shows her taking a pair of blue jeans from her son’s room and scrubbing them in the bathroom sink before taking them to her own room.

An hour later, the video shows a witness coming into the house and inspecting the blue jeans with Smith before finally placing the jeans back in Fucci’s room.

On Saturday, First Coast News shared a statement from the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office, announcing Smith had been arrested and charged with evidence destroying, a third-degree felony that is punishable by up to five years in prison and a $50,000 fine.

She was booked into jail around 12 p.m. Saturday and was released shortly after at 1:40 p.m. on a $25,000 bond. In the statement, authorities revealed that Smith surrendered herself into the custody.

RELATED: The Evidence Police Say Links Aiden Fucci To Tristyn Bailey's Murder — And What They've Ruled Out

During the investigation, an audio recording from the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office also captured a conversation between Fucci and his parents.

In the conversation, Fucci’s parents asked if there could have been anything on his clothes from the night of the murder.

Fucci responds, “I think so, why?” — and his mother answers by whispering to him, “Blood.”

Sheriff Hardwick said in the statement, “I remain incredibly proud of the men and women of the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office for their continued thoroughness in this investigation. Our goal in any investigation is to ensure proper accountability across the board for successful prosecution.”

“Crystal Smith will be held responsible for her role in this case and justice will be served for Tristyn Bailey and her family,” Hardwick continued.

Parents attempting to "help" their children avoid obstacles like legal trouble has become more prevalent than ever. This type of parenting has many names, but it is often referred to as “snowplow parenting.”

What is snowplow parenting and is it different from helicopter parenting?

Snowplow parenting is a form of parenting where the parent attempts to remove obstacles from a child’s path rather than teaching them to solve the obstacles on their own.

It may seem similar to helicopter parenting, but they share a distinct difference. Helicopter parents hover in order to be there and help the child when they encounter a stressful situation, but snowplow parents go even further and remove the obstacles before they appear.

While this may come from a place of parents wanting to protect their children, the damage is far greater than the parents could imagine. After all, the path to hell is paved with good intentions.

Snowplow parents will often not only remove obstacles for their children but also cover for their children when they suspect the child has done something wrong.

How does snowplow parenting begin?

When children are young, parents are responsible for making sure they are out of harm’s way and taken care of; however, not all parents know when to loosen the reins.

This behavior could be innocent, such as a parent calling the school saying their child is sick when in fact they just overslept, but it has the potential to escalate into much more serious situations — like washing the blood off your child’s jeans and not asking questions about how it got there.

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Why is snowplow parenting more prevalent in this day and age?

Snowplow parenting is a product of fear and anxiety in parents about their children’s well-being.

Whether it’s terrifying headlines in the news or even seeing another child’s accomplishments on Facebook, parents feel the need to protect their children and help them excel.

Technology has also made it easier than ever for parents to send a quick email to a child’s teacher complaining about a bad grade — or do a Google search of how to get blood out of a pair of jeans.

Unfortunately, having access to as much information as we do does nothing to soothe the parent’s concerns for their child.

How does it affect children in the long run?

Because snowplow parenting aims to protect children from distress and discomfort, it may seem beneficial in the short term. After all, who wants their child to endure stressful life events? However, in the long run, it might be detrimental to the child’s development and life skills.

"'Snow Plowing' is a new term, but it’s still a form of helicopter parenting from my point of view. Whether a parent hovers or plows through, the end result is the same,” says Dr. Elizabeth Henry, a board-certified pediatrician and parenting coach.

"This parenting style undermines a teen’s ability to make appropriate choices and bounce back from failure," she emphasizes. "If kids don’t understand and experience the consequences of their actions, they won’t learn how to effectively manage challenges and overcome obstacles. Over-managing and being overly involved is detrimental to a child’s social and emotional development."

Children of snowplow parents may have poor problem-solving skills, a lack of self-efficacy, increased anxiety and poor coping mechanisms.

Once children grow up and leave the protection of their parents, they won’t be ready to face the problems their parents always took care of for them.

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Livvie Brault is a writer who covers entertainment and news, self-help, and relationships.